From the Workbench: Finishing Oils

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Renew 020a

Oils have been used to preserve and beautify wood since ancient times. Civilizations around the Mediterranean rim used olive, almond, walnut, and citrus oils to preserve their furnishings. The Middle Eastern and Far Eastern civilizations used oils derived from their local fruit and nuts such as tung and palm oil.

True oils never harden and eventually turn rancid. Today they are used primarily as a top coat over existing finishes. On bare wood oils require periodic maintenance or the wood will look flat(dull) and dry when the oil is absorbed into the pores.

Modern oils are blended with varnishes and colorants and marketed as Danish Oil, Teak Oil, Tung Oil, etc. Linseed Oil is blended with chemicals (boiled) and sold as Boiled Linseed Oil.

All of the above products are easy to apply and give satisfactory results but require periodic maintenance.

Do you have a furniture repair or product question? Send your questions to

Furniture refinishing courses are being offered at Upscale Consignment. Class information is found in the Winter Clackamas Community College Catalog, page 115. To register for the course follow the information in the catalog, visit the store or contact Frank Cusma at RENEW Furniture (503) 929-7022.

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